In the early agriculture of some of the peoples of Palestine were building megalithic tombs. This common type of tomb is a few stones of great size, set vertically and covered with a massive horizontal slab so as to obtain a structure resembling a table. Often these stones weigh several tons, but the ancient had somehow managed to move them over long distances. As a rule, the tomb was covered with a small mound, consisting of earth (barrows) or small stones (a Cairn). Quite often in these mounds, and determine the location of megalithic tombs. Usually in the fairly limited space find large concentrations of these structures. Therefore, we can assume that here lived people who built them.
In Palestine megalithic structures are located in the border and neighbouring areas. Most of them are concentrated in the upper part of the Jordan valley, Jordanian plateau, in the Central mountains and southern deserts. Where early farming culture were more developed, these tombs are very little or not at all. Megaliths more in the inner part of Palestine, and the West of the region and some of them less.
Apparently, they were never built in the coastal regions.
Scientists still have not determined the origin of these monuments is quite common. In Western Europe megalithic tombs built in the same manner as in Palestine. They first appeared there at the end of the 4th Millennium BC Palestine is the only region in the world where these structures could be used.
The European and middle Eastern tombs have a lot in common. In both of these regions, the monuments are surrounded by rings of stones, their cover of the mound, on the “roof” cut the multiple Cup-shaped indentations, and even the same their shape and size.
Unfortunately, we know very little about the burial traditions of Palestine builders of megalithic tombs. We know that in areas of Adama and Moab was built smaller tombs with single or double burials (at least they made more mass graves). Recently in the Northern regions was found looted a single burial. It is larger and probably more ancient. But we do not know how many of the dead could be buried in such tombs.
These monuments can be seen from afar, as they are in the most conspicuous places. Many of them, perhaps, in later times was used again, and for the past several centuries most of them have been disturbed by treasure hunters.
I have already mentioned Mesolithic funerary monument from Anana, probably became the prototype of the megalithic tombs. To deep Dubai, Jordanian plateau, was excavated several megalithic monuments, correlated, apparently, with some culture that pre-ceramic Neolithic. Other megalithic structures of Palestine are dated to later periods. A small burial in Adama, considered the forerunners of megaliths, dated to the first third of the 4th Millennium BC and it is quite possible, although it is still not proven that the megalithic monuments from the North of Palestine were built in the Neolithic period. As we see above, at the end of the 3rd Millennium BC in the Negev is also constructed such tombs.
Megalithic monuments of Palestine are divided into four main groups: the first is located in the Northern part of the Jordan valley and on the plain Holskey, the second – in Jordan, in areas of the Golan and the Bashan, the third – in the southern part of the Jordan valley and along the Dead sea coast and the fourth in the Negev.
Out of all these categories the most striking megaliths Holskey Jordan valley and the plains. It found various megalithic field, or concentration of megalithic monuments. The largest of them consisting of more than a hundred buildings, located in kibbutz Shamir.
This group includes two types of monuments. The rst is called a covered alley. It is a short gallery with two or three stones propped on each side and the same number of slabs on top. The average length of these structures – from 1.5 to 5 meters. The second type of a conventional “dolmens”. (This term means “stone table”.) They gave to the strictly rectangular shape. Three plates placed vertically, and on them were placed fourth. Around most of these monuments were found the remains of stone embankments. On top of the stove many of them were found clusters of bowl-shaped recesses. Fields on the Northern part of the Jordan valley have been opened a few circles of megaliths, and many of them were filling of pebbles.
Not far from these monuments, archeologists have found flint tools and pottery, but, as most of these tombs in later times it was reused, to date these structures is currently very difficult.
The second major group of megalithic monuments is concentrated mainly in Jordan, in areas of the Golan and the Bashan, where it was found more than four thousand dolmens, some of which was located far South of Moab. Most of these structures is a simple rectangular dolmens, with one slab-roof. Others have round or rectangular passage cut through one of the stone stanchions. To produtivity them failed.
Two other groups are represented by cysts (burial pit with the walls lined with stone slabs. – TRANS.), or little dolmens, which are best represented at the necropolis of Adaima. Some researchers have suggested that the pottery found here dates back to the mid 4th Millennium BC To the fourth category includes small cysts-Karami. They are usually round, their average diameter is approximately 7 meters, height – about 1 meter. They are a small elevated platform of flat stones in the center of which lies the burial chamber. This type of megaliths are found generally in the southern regions of Palestine, in the Negev, in Moab and Edom, where they often stand next to the menhirs (vertically dug into the ground stone pillars) and other megaliths. Judging by the ceramics, which was found here, it can be assumed that this group of monuments are much later than everyone else, she refers to the end of the 3rd Millennium BC.